Nov. 17, 2011
GOV. BARBOUR CELEBRATES AS FIRST MISSISSIPPI-MADE
TOYOTA COROLLA ROLLS OFF LINE
Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi begins production in Blue Springs
BLUE SPRINGS – Gov. Haley Barbour, Toyota Motor Corporation President and Chief Executive Officer Akio Toyoda and other Toyota, state and local officials gathered today at the Blue Springs plant to celebrate the start of production of the Corolla.
Approximately 1,500 workers are currently employed at the plant, which is known as Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS). Once production is fully underway, Toyota's Blue Springs facility will employ 2,000 people, with another 2,000 employed in supplier facilities in the state.
"We are here to celebrate a much-anticipated milestone with the official start of production at Toyota's Blue Springs facility," Gov. Barbour said. "The Toyota Corolla is the world's best-selling vehicle, and now it is being manufactured right here in our state, by our people. I appreciate everyone who worked so hard to get us where we are today, and I am proud to congratulate Toyota, its employees and the people of north Mississippi on this great achievement."
"Mississippi has provided us with a great workforce who welcomes challenges and are eager to learn," said Masafumi Hamaguchi, president of TMMMS. "Our slogan is: 'Always look for the best way, using our pioneer spirit.' The Mississippi workforce has shown that they have this spirit."
The Corolla was first introduced in Japan in 1966. In 1968, it was introduced in the U.S., and while it was an immediately popular selection among consumers, it has evolved significantly over the past 40 years. Models to be produced at TMMMS include the Corolla, Corolla S, Corolla XRS, Corolla LE and the Corolla XLE.
"I am thrilled Toyota has entrusted Mississippi's skilled workforce to manufacture its best-selling model and that production is now underway," said Leland Speed, executive director of the Mississippi Development Authority. "We are proud to have partnered with Toyota to help get the company’s newest production plant up and running in Blue Springs, and we wish the company many years of success in Mississippi."
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in North America in 1957 and currently operates 14 manufacturing plants. There are more than 1,800 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in North America which sold more than two million vehicles in 2010. Toyota directly employs more than 35,000 people in North America, and its investment here is currently valued at more than $23 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from North American suppliers totals nearly $25 billion. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyota.com or www.toyotanewsroom.com.